For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16
Imagine losing your child. I mean really losing your child. The panic that would set in. The rushing around, shouting their name, grabbing strangers and asking them to help you find them. Imagine the despair when you couldn’t find them. The sleepless nights. Wondering if you can live or if you should just end your life. I don’t know if that’s exactly how Manny felt, but I imagine it must have been a horror beyond any horror one could imagine.
Manny is a pastor in Haiti and his son was kidnapped seven years ago. Operation Underground Railroad, founded by Tim Ballard, former Special Agent for the US Dept of Homeland Security, and his team, took on Manny’s case after he saw his son’s face in a U.S. newspaper.
To date, they have still not found him, but during one operation to break up a child sex trafficking ring run by women who framed it as an orphanage Tim and his team were able to save 28 innocent children and bust these sick and evil women who were selling children for $15,000 a piece.
Tim reluctantly tells Manny, “We didn’t find your son.” Tears were shed and then Manny stops. A smile comes over his face, “No, you didn’t find my son, but because of my son, you were able to save 28 children from sex trafficking, and I am willing to sacrifice my son for that.”
True story. I saw the documentary, just released, last night and witnessed this brave and faith-filled father sharing his gratitude and hope, in front of an audience of 3,000. The film ends with his testimony. Hope beyond hope, knowing that his son will be found. I shared this video of him on Instagram stories.
Who can understand this kind of love? Tears of unthinkable pain that transform into unspeakable love. Exposure to hurt beyond comprehension that moves us into action. Powerful action, which saves children from death. One son’s life for 28? A father’s pain and loss transformed into an operation rescuing many.
If we feel as we do about injustices towards the helpless and our motivation to do whatever it takes to save them, where do you think that comes from? It must be a reflection of how God feels towards us.
Seeing our pain. Witnessing our suffering. Not wanting to sit back and allow the evil to overtake us, but sending in One more powerful, creating a rescue mission, which cost Him the life of His Son.
Love motivates. Love saves those who are enslaved. Love saves us from the evil that lurks in the darkest corners of our hearts.
“We have to shine a light on this problem. And like cockroaches hiding in the dark, when the light comes, the roaches scatter,” said Russell Brunson about human trafficking. In the same way, we need to shine His light on the evil in this world and the evil that tries to reside within.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
I’ll be honest, I’ve wrestled with the reality of evil in this world and where it comes from. Whether there really is a ‘devil’ or not. Yet I do know that the sick and twisted minds of people who want to buy and sell children is the darkest darkness there ever was. And I do know that despite their darkness, brightness will shine. People like Tim Ballard and Russell Brunson and Tony Robbins and all the abolitionists who support O.U.R. make a difference.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. ~ John 1:5
Darkness cannot win. You can make a difference. We can make a difference. Use the light you have in your heart to make it clear that your great power is from God. It is not you who does the works but the Spirit of God in you.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 5:16
We are never abandoned by God. He gave His Son that we might be rescued. There is no excuse. It’s time to let your light shine. Live bigger. Stand taller. Be bolder. Take risks. Stand up for the weak. Give money to fund operations like Tim’s. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let your light overpower the darkness.
Unlike the children in trafficking, we have a choice. God has already come to our aid, will we step out of the darkness and into the light? That is the bigger question. Can we see the extreme love of The Father for us who was willing to give his Only Son so we could be liberated? That is true love. Who can understand it?
I can’t. It seems impossible to fathom giving up one of my children for the sake of saving others. Yet, God did. Manny did. Let us live with the reality that we have been bought with a price. The highest price imaginable. Unspeakable Love.
Day 37 Lenten Love Prayer:
I can’t understand Your love. How would You be willing to lose your Only Son to give life to me? It doesn’t make sense. Yet, I hear Manny and see the faces of the 28 kids who were rescued out of sex trafficking in an effort to find his son and I can feel the joy and the pain residing in unison. The lives that were freed because of the loss of one. The smiles on their faces not knowing that the one they came for was not among them. How great is the love you have for me? May this light you have put in my heart shine on others. May it light up the darkness. May Your power make it possible for me to get knocked down and not destroyed. Help me to stand. Help me to get better and not bitter when injustices come. Help me to see that there is a purpose much greater than my human understanding. May I be more like you. Willing to sacrifice what I have, even what is most precious to me, in order to spread your freedom and love into a darkened world. May I truly mean that. It’s hard to say even now. I don’t want to suffer losses. Help me be willing to be willing. Help me. Mould me. Use me as Your voice for the helpless, Your hands for healing the hurting, Your resources to fund Your work in the world. Let me not sit back and wait for someone else to do it. Give me opportunities to say YES and serve life in a bigger way. I will say YES. Help me to be willing.
Day 37 Scripture:
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. ~ 1 John 3:16Video Embed Code Here